Thursday, June 13, 2013


Last week we went to one of those mandatory events resulting from the fact that by accepting a research grant from the Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung my husband has become a Humboldtian and is now a member of the Humboldt Family. Ever year in June, the Stiftung celebrates its birthday by inviting all its relatives to a reception in the garden of Schloss Bellevue, the residence of the German Bundespräsident. And since Schloss Bellevue is only 10 minutes cycling from our house, I convinced my husband and my son that it would be fun to go there...

Normally, we would only have seen Schloss Bellevue from this side, but now we were able to see what lies behind the house/palace. While I was wondering whether we would actually meet the president, my husband was trying to remain inconspicuous because he did not want to talk to certain people and my son kept complaining that he was hungry ánd thirsty. After the inevitable security checks we were allowed into the park surrounding the Schloss and had to walk to the back of the house, which looks a lot like the front:

I was wondering why all the people over there were gathered around the parasol on the left, only to find that they were actually listening to a speech by Herr Dr. Gauck, the Bundespräsident himself (on the right - the white haired guy on the left is Prof. Schwarz, the president of the Humboldt Stiftung).

It was difficult to hear what he said, because my son kept tugging at my arm to ask why there was no food and that the apple juice did not taste right. Anyway, it was nice to have seen a real head of state in person. After the reception we were taken to Jannowitzbrücke for a long boat trip on the Spree which was excellent because the weather was great and the lunch that was served was not, so we spent the entire trip to Köpenick and back on deck.

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